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June 03, 2014

Create Mortgage Applications with 123FormBuilder

The process of buying a new home and obtaining a mortgage can be time consuming and involves filling out a number of forms and applications.  From the initial mortgage application to the final closing, there is a lot of information to collect, a lot of signatures, and that makes my hand hurt just thinking about it!  In this blog post we’ll be demonstrating how a mortgage originator can streamline the mortgage application process by collecting the application online using 123FormBuilder, a service that makes it easy to create any kind of customizable web form from simple contact forms, to more complex order forms and applications.  Then with the help of Formstack Documents, we’ll generate a PDF version of the application.

To get started, we are going to setup the document (or template) in Formstack Documents that we’ll be using for the application.  This is a generic PDF application that has fillable fields on it for the information that we’ll be collecting on the online form.  To upload the document, we’ll login to Formstack Documents and create a New Document, then choose Fillable PDF as the document type, and select our PDF file to upload.

After we have the PDF uploaded, we’re going to setup the ability to embed the signature that we’ll be collecting on the form.  To do this, we’ll go to the Manage File tab, and Enable the embedded images.  This allows us to define a variable or URL to use as an image that we’ll embed in the PDF.  Since the URL of the image will be coming from 123FormBuilder, we’ll just use a generic field name like {$ApplicationSignature}.  You’ll also have to define the size of the image and the location to place it on the PDF. 

Now that we have our signatures setup, we’re going to build our online form using 123FormBuilder.  To keep things quick and simple, we used an example form that they have already setup for a Mortgage Application - simply import that form into your account and you can make any changes you need.  For this example, we’re going to leave the form as is.

Cool, we’ve got the Formstack Documents document setup, got our online application form ready to go.  How do we get the submissions from 123FormBuilder to sync with Formstack Documents?  It’s actually really easy and we’re going to use a service that connects 3rd party services called Zapier.  With Zapier, we’ll be able to automatically send new submissions from 123FormBuilder directly to Formstack Documents – completely automated.

Inside Zapier, let’s go ahead and setup a new “Zap” and pick 123FormBuilder as the “Trigger” then Formstack Documents as the “Action”.  Once you setup the accounts inside Zapier, you’ll want to choose New Submission as the actually trigger, then New Document Merge as the action.  The next step will ask you to pick the form from 123FormBuilder and then the document from your Formstack Documents account that you want to merge.

After you pick the Formstack Documents document, it will automatically load all of the fields that are in your application PDF and you will have to match (or map) them to the 123FormBuilder fields so that the data from the form goes to the correct spot in the PDF.  After you match up all of the fields, go ahead and run a test with some sample data.  Make sure Zapier doesn’t report any issues and then check your email for the merged PDF.

If all goes well, then you’re done and you’ve now automated your mortgage application process!  Hopefully this will help streamline the process and reduce friction and errors along the way.  If you’d like to setup a different delivery method that your email, check out our other Delivery Options that include Box, Dropbox, SignNow, and more. Can you think of any other documents that could be automated with 123FormBuilder and Formstack Documents?

5 min read

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